The guidebook is pretty definitive about Falsehood, which left me at a loss as to how to handle other forms of deception. I found that characters would engage in deliberate omission, doublespeak, and otherwise intend to mislead the PCs. How do you handle this?
I’ve always used Falsehood to handle that. It’s not, say, persuasion or oratory, but a deliberate attempt to mislead the target… which sounds like Falsehood to me.
Yeah, I’d use Falsehood too. Or possibly Perception with a Falsehood FoRK.
Task and Intent, right? If the intent is to deceive, Falsehood is the appropriate task.
If you give a speech in which you carefully avoid, downplay, misrepresent, and disparage the truth, while occasionally grudgingly acknowledging it while subtly insinuating against it, you might be using Oratory. Convincing someone to act on false information (that you know is false) because the cost of ignoring the possibility that it’s true is too high—that’s Persuasion, not Falsehood. And so on. Which social skill is all about how you frame the task.
I tend to think of it this way:
- Influencing someone via emotional appeals: Persuasion
- Influencing crowds via emotional appeals: Oratory
- Influencing via appeal to religion/morals: Suasion
- Influencing individuals or crowds via reason: Rhetoric
- Manipulating via lies and misdirection: Falsehood
- Manipulating via truth: Ugly Truth
- Manipulating via flattery: Soothing Platitudes
- Manipulating via the promise of sex/love: Seduction
- Manipulating via fear/threat of violence: Intimidation
Technically rhetoric is supposed to be used only in DoW. It’s a skill for formal argument. In practice I’ve let it be a regular social skill too for a kind of Witty Versus.
What makes you think that?
“This skill is used in the Duel of Wits” (page 290)
That’s also true of Persuasion, Oratory, Suasion, Intimidation, Soothing Platitudes, Interrogation, Extortion, Ugly Truth, Coarse Persuasion, Stentorious Debate, Religious Diatribe, Poisonous Platitudes, Brutal Intimidation, Falsehood, and Silent Fury
Those tend to say “This skill may also be used in the Duel of Wits.”
Rhetoric definitely specified that it was only for DoW in Revised. It isn’t quite as explicit in Gold, but I think it’s still intended to be that way.
I’ll take it up with the editor.
He definitely needs taking down a notch. He publishes one game and suddenly he starts puttin’ on airs!
Religious Diatribe states “This skill is also used in the Duel of Wits”, Rhetoric states “This skill is used in the Duel of Wits” (Both are found on page 290).
Also, the description for Rhetoric states “Rhetoric is a form of discourse centered on the conveyance of thoughts, ideas, and concepts in the interest of winning an argument.” Arguments are usually resolved by a duel of wits.
Having said that, I suppose that Rhetoric could be used in a versus test in some situations where the argument wasn’t crucial enough to the story for a full fledged duel.